Germs are everywhere. Sorry to the germ haters but it's true. Fighting them is one, a battle you will...

germs on the playground

Germs are everywhere. Sorry to the germ haters but it's true. Fighting them is one, a battle you will lose, and two, in the grand scheme of things not all that worrisome. I've seen mamas at the playground and children's museum wiping stuff down before their little one touches it (like a slide) and that's big time overkill. You can't clean the germs off playground equipment or library tables, it's impossible. Those commercials with parents dunking toys in bleach! Don't get me started. Bleach, not germs, is what you should be worried about in this situation. Bleach has been shown time and time again to cause all sorts of negative reactions in humans. Small children, with smaller bodies take in more of the toxins in bleach and other harsh cleaners especially if you dump it all over your house in a germ killing frenzy. Lastly, germ fighting backfires. According to a massive amount of research, items like antibacterial cleaners may be decreasing antibiotic efficiency, have not been demonstrated useful for households (think disinfectant wipes), and extended use will only encourage the growth of antimicrobial drug–resistant species as time passes. With all our wipes, hand alcohol, and toxic cleaners, we're a nation breeding super strong germs. Babies who are breastfed will naturally develop immunities to some illnesses, and as kids grow they get sick, and then acquire more immunities. Now, this is not to say that germ fighting doesn't matter at all. It's smart to teach your child some basic germ fighting techniques like hand washing, using a tissue correctly, and avoiding people who are already sick. These skills will serve them for life and help protect them without exposing them to toxic cleaners. Your family should also always follow safe food handling guidelines to avoid food-borne illness. There are also some places where germs hide that you can learn to avoid. Coming up we'll look at some of those places. Right now read:  How to germ-proof your baby - part one How to germ-proof your baby - part two

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